Morning Report: Kevin Holland: Khamzat Chimaev ‘can do whatever the f*** he wants to do’ going forward

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Kevin Holland saw firsthand how talented Khamzat Chimaev is.

The chaos of UFC 279 is now a distant memory as 2022 draws to a close. Holland, 30, suffered his eighth career defeat that evening, losing to Borz after they got into a fight backstage on the day of the pre-match press conference.

Chimaev was originally scheduled to face Nate Diaz with Holland in the main event to fight two fights before Daniel Rodriguez. On the day of the weigh-in, however, Chimaev fell short of his 170-pound welterweight mark by seven and a half pounds. A shocking weight count resulted in a complete reshuffle of the last three fights of UFC 279 as Holland and Chimaev were roughly the same weight, resulting in a catchweight advantage of up to 180 pounds.

It took Chimaev just over two minutes to finish Holland with a choke after he forced his will on his hitherto unstoppable wrestling game. As impressive as the performance against Holland was, the nature of Chimaev’s drastic weight miss leaves many unaware of which division the 12-0 undefeated talent should stick in going forward.

“Timing is everything,” Holland said. CBS Sports. “With the right fights at the right time, the dude comes up. I feel like Colby [Covington] may be too small to give it to him. But, as they say, if Colby can make it to the third, fourth and fifth rounds, it could be a different story. [Chimaev] against [Kamaru] Usman, I think it would be the best fight, but perhaps Usman is not the same after Leon. [Edwards]. I think there is no limit.

“At middleweight it depends on who he fights. If he’s fighting certain guys, it might not be that easy. I think the championship is a really good fight for him right now. Does he deserve a championship fight right now at 185 pounds? No. Moreso at 170 pounds? Yes. He lost weight in his last fight, so he might have to win another one before he gets there. The guy can do whatever the hell he wants. And honestly, I think he could do a lot.”

Holland is believed to have been generously compensated for his willingness to accept an immediate replacement against a dangerous opponent like Chimaev. Shortly after his lack of “Pioneer” even ended his career.

Like most MMA retirements, it didn’t last long as Holland returned to action this Saturday night in the main event of UFC Orlando against Stephen Thompson. Ultimately, it was all something of a business strategy for a Contender Series alumnus.

“Sometimes you just have to play with the water a little,” Holland said of his short retirement. “And I think right then and there at the time I was playing with water a little bit. See what happens if I decide to maybe go that route or see if some of the things that have been said actually happen. And I did the route, I tested the water, and the water was great on both sides. It was great out of the cage, and great to be back in the cage. So it’s just a water sample.”


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There is zero chance of this happening, but imagine the scenes of Alex Pereira’s suggested light heavyweight fight against Chimaev in Brazil for the first UFC PPV in 2023. Let’s get mad, dude.

Thanks for reading!


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Source: www.mmafighting.com